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Turkey Can Be Source Country For Boiler Sales – OpEd

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Sale story of 80 tons / hour Mcr-capacity watertube steam boiler to Poland in 1996.

In 1996, USA Akron Ohio-based Goodyear tire company acquired a tire factory in Debica, Poland. The company began investing in renewals for tire production in compliance with US standards, but first, the old steam boiler of the plant was demolished.

They tendered to buy a new watertube 80 tph saturated steam boiler similar to their boiler at home plant in Ohio. They asked Usa and European companies to deliver their proposals. The Asme American boiler standard was the base requirement. Our US parent company received the tender documents and delivered us to propose directly to the client, since were the closest joint-venture company in the family. The request was the biggest size package water tube steam boiler. We had the license, we had also a reference of same capacity in our home market in the Sasa Sabanci company in Adana.

We prepared our proposal file in English and sent it by courier to Goodyear headquarters for evaluation. Polish companies also participated in the tender, but they did not have the design of package type watertube steam boiler to burn the package type fuel oil. They could not meet Asme boiler norms.

We promised to deliver the boiler free-on-truck (fot) basis in one-year.

The Polish companies could not go delivery under two years.

Our price was cheaper. Our proposal was the best choice.

At the end of the tender we stayed at around 1-million to the US dollar price.

We won the steam boiler tender, and we would sell it to Poland.

We got our advance payment. Since we had delivered the same size same type boiler earlier in Turkey before, detailed technical drawings were ready.

We made letterhead corrections on technical drawings, we got approval from Goodyear’s head office to proceed, we started manufacturing, we bought material in three months, and we finished factory production in eight months.

The steam boiler was ready for the factory (free on truck) on time.

Transportation logistics firm would take delivery, they would load truck, they would take it via road to the Poland Debrica plant, the steam boiler was very heavy. There were pilot cars in the front and rear, permission to pass toll highway roads and the Bosphorus bridge was necessary.

The speed 5 km per hour would not be exceeded, only daylight travel would be taken.

The transport company would get 50K US$ for this transportation.

All the permits, and the total time of transport was calculated at about three months.

In the meantime, the Polish Debrica tire factory was ready for operation. They were waiting for the steam boiler for their tire production. The boiler was in our plant and ready for transportation.

Then we got a new request from Goodyear headquarters in Akron. Could we make transportation by heavy duty cargo aircraft? We had never thought of that option before given the big size, as the steam boiler was 120 ton in weight in aircraft transportation.

We asked the shipping companies. They asked Steam boiler dimensions, weight, center of gravity.

The answer came back positive.

Yes, this large package type watertube steam boiler could be transported by a Russian production Antonov-124 cargo transport aircraft.

We were only required to tilt the steam boiler 90 degrees so that it could get into the Antonov-124 plane. We checked if we could, and yes it was possible.

The price of the plane transportation from Ankara to Debica was 250,000 US$.

Goodyear approved the boiler air transportation.

In our Ankara plant we turned the boiler 90 degrees, put it into a steel construction cage for transportation, and took it to Ankara Esenboğa airport on a trailer.

The Antonov-124 cargo plane came to the open space where the new terminal is now.

With two heavy-duty cranes we loaded the boiler on the Antonov-124 and the entry pallets. The plane’s technicians got the steam boiler into the aircraft on pallets.

That day, all our company personnel were at the airport in Esenboğa Antonov-124 in front of the heavy transport aircraft. We took family photos in front of the boiler and the aircraft. Then the plane door was closed. The plane took off from the air strip, then slowly accelerated, and disappeared.

Four hours later the Antonov landed at an airport near the Debrica tire factory in Poland.

It was then moved to the factory with heavy transportation vehicles.

It was placed by the Turkish site erection assembly team that we had sent earlier.

The transport business was priced independently from us, we did not earn money from the transport business, but we had the reference of a Turkish company that could sell steam boilers to Poland. Then we sold four similar steam boilers to Kazakhstan.

In 1999, our US parent company had financial difficulties, and subjected to Chapter-10 procedures to overcome bankruptcy. The consultant company Deloitte advised them to sell all their overseas joint-venture company shares to get cash to pay local debts. So US parent company sold their 50% shares to our local parent company for $1 million, and left.

The local parent company got a board decision to become smaller. They changed the field of work, closed the factory, sold the land. We employees were asked to leave the company.

We built a utopian American company in Turkey, we were working like an American company, we had a US license to build steam boilers in accordance with Asme boiler norms. Our internal correspondence was English (and Turkish), we could produce steam boilers at all capacities for all kinds of fossil fuels.

We could serve in our local market as well as the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe.

We sold steam boilers to Poland, Kazakhstan, Syria, Jordan and Pakistan.

It was like a dream, a fairy tale, it came and then it passed.

We did it in 1996, why not now?


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Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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